Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[uh-mig-duh-luh] /əˈmɪg də lə/
noun, plural amygdalae
[uh-mig-duh-lee] /əˈmɪg dəˌli/ (Show IPA).
an almond-shaped part, as a tonsil.
a ganglion of the limbic system adjoining the temporal lobe of the brain and involved in emotions of fear and aggression.
Origin of amygdala
before 950; < Medieval Latin: almond, tonsil, Latin: almond < Greek amygdálē; replacing Middle English amygdal, Old English amigdal almond < Latin amygdalon < Greek amýgdalon; cf. almond Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for amygdala
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The common English name is from the Latin amandola, corrupted from amygdala.

    The Nut Culturist Andrew S. Fuller
British Dictionary definitions for amygdala


noun (pl) -lae (-ˌliː)
(anatomy) an almond-shaped part, such as a tonsil or a lobe of the cerebellum
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin: almond
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for amygdala

"the tonsils," 1540s (amygdal), from Latin, from Greek amygdale "almond" (see almond). The anatomical use is as a direct translation of Arabic al-lauzatani "the two tonsils," literally "the two almonds," so called by Arabic physicians for fancied resemblance. From early 15c. as amygdales "tonsils;" as "almonds" from mid-12c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
amygdala in Medicine

amygdala a·myg·da·la (ə-mĭg'də-lə)
n. pl. a·myg·da·lae (-lē)

  1. An almond-shaped mass of gray matter in the front part of the temporal lobe of the cerebrum. Also called amygdaloid nucleus.

  2. The cerebellar tonsil.

  3. Any of the lymphatic tonsils.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
amygdala in Science
Plural amygdalae (ə-mĭg'də-lē)
An almond-shaped mass of gray matter in the front part of the temporal lobe of the cerebrum that is part of the limbic system and is involved in the processing and expression of emotions, especially anger and fear.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for amygdala

Difficulty index for amygdala

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for amygdala

Scrabble Words With Friends